Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is set for season-ending surgery which will be the third procedure required on his injured foot this season.
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The Thunder made the announcement on Friday, with the 26-year-old expected to resume basketball activities in between four and six months.
It is a huge blow for both the organisation and the player in the long term, as in the short term it appears as though point guard Russell Westbrook is capable of leading them into the playoffs in his absence.
OKC have improved to 41-31 for the season after going 7-3 over their last 10 games which has in turn opened up a three-game gap between them and their nearest rivals, the Phoenix Suns, for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
However, the concern is over Durant’s ability to return from this injury without any pain or soreness in future as it will be the third procedure he has undergone in one season.
The initial surgery was for a Jones fracture which was identified in pre-season, while Durant went under the knife again earlier this calendar year to relieve soreness that was being caused by the screw that was inserted into his foot.
It is understood that that is still the issue and as a result Durant will have surgery early next week in New York to fix the issue.
The Thunder will be keen to take a cautious approach moving forward as it appears as though it could be a long term problem for their star forward and reigning NBA MVP who will become a free agent next summer.
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) March 27, 2015